This year's Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas will include an option to camp at the festival for the first time since the event began in 1997. The area, located next to the event's main gates at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, has been dubbed Camp EDC.
Pasquale Rotella, the brains behind Insomniac, which organizes EDC, has been planning to introduce camping to the EDC experience for a couple of years, says Yvonne Liu, Insomniac's festival operations and experience specialist. "He loves the atmosphere of a campground, and the community is unbeatable," Liu says.
Organizers also hope the addition of a campsite will help alleviate the terrible traffic conditions that attendees have sometimes had to deal with in the past.
Some may wonder about camping in Las Vegas, where temperatures typically soar. "It's something that's never been done before in Vegas. Now that we've moved the dates to May [from the usual June], it's actually possible because the temperature is so much nicer," Liu says. "Typically, we're a bucket-list event. People want to come and do it, and then they'll cross it off their list. We want to provide more than that, so Pasquale started working on a lot of ideas."
New ideas are considered and discussed every year when EDC ends, with a view to improving the experience the following year. The campsite is one that took, says Rich Thomas, Insomniac vice president of culture and content.
"Our fans love to camp," Thomas says. "Pasquale is always inspired by other festivals that he goes to, like Eclipse and Burning Man. He's always wanted to try to figure out how to bring something like that to EDC."
The camping at EDC won't be a traditional festival popup tent setup. Rather, the domelike tents, called ShiftPod2's, are already erected. All campers will have AstroTurf floors, a four-port USB strip, interior string lights and their own air conditioning unit. Higher-tier campers will find their ShiftPod2 outfitted with an inflatable mattresses and bedding.
"The most important thing for us was to create a safe and regulated environment," Thomas says. "It's not your traditional popup tent campground. We'll have everything set up for you. For the past year, we've been setting up these ShiftPods at our various festivals and testing them out. We've even had one set up on our balcony for what feels like forever."
A number of activities are planned for the campsite — everything from Rave Booty Boot Camp to Hula Hoop 101. Three large tents will be erected — one for relaxing and hanging out, one for workshops and one for meditation and yoga. Thomas says health and wellness is an important part of the EDC experience.
"You're dancing all night from dusk to dawn, bouncing around from stage to stage. It was important for us to make health and wellness as big a part of Camp EDC as it is with the actual festival," he says. "We wanted to include a nice selection of transformational wellness events, where people can reset their minds and bodies with some juice and some meditation and oils before they go back out and go to work."
With a show that is largely focused on partying and raging, the campsite and activities can help change the focus, Liu says. "A lot of our headliners [Insomniac-speak for attendees] are younger — 18 to 28 — so there are a lot of young minds that we're able to start shaping. It's a privilege to be able to present this to them and have them maybe find things that they've never explored, like chakra balancing."
Traditional yoga sessions are planned, veteran DJ Marques Wyatt will do a deep house yoga session called Deep Exhale, and there will even be something called "goat yoga," where goats literally walk on you. "In L.A. it's all the trend," Liu says.
Other activities include AcroTherapeutics: Partner Massage, defined by Insomniac thus: "Honor your inner healer as Andrew Sealy walks you through Thai partner massage and therapeutic acroyoga flying."
There's the Afro Urban Flow session ("Amy Secada is a multidisciplinary artist and environmental and human rights activist — and she's renowned for her unique Afro-urban, capoeira-inspired flow").
And Live Band Vinyasa. "Continue your adrenaline kick from the EDC grounds or take a moment and meditate during this vibey set. Drishti Beats, a family of six, brings you vinyasa flow movement paired with live singing, saxophone and percussion."
With their focus on well-being, Insomniac officials say they take seriously any accusations of sexual harassment. A Teen Vogue story detailing sexual assault and harassment allegations at last month’s Coachella Music Festival has prompted an online petition calling on music festivals to take a stand on the issue.
“We have a zero tolerance policy toward sexual harassment and are continuously re-evaluating our policies and procedures to keep our guests safe,” says Maren Steiner, Insomniac’s health and safety director. “Guests behaving outside of those terms will be evicted from the festival and turned over to local authorities if the situation warrants.”
At the campsite, those not wishing to sleep in tents can drive up in an RV. Power and water facilities will be on-site. There will also be two pools with tiki bars.
"There will be nightly pool parties with different crews and collectives every night," Thomas says. "Insomniac Records, Space Yacht and Brownies & Lemonade, as well as a Thursday night kickoff party with Excision, Habstrakt and G Jones."
But the best campsite-related information comes from Liu, who proudly states that the restrooms will all be flushable. Meaning no stinky Porta-Potties in the desert heat.
More Camp EDC activities:
Flash Mob Choreography: Learn the choreography for a hooping flash mob with the Hooptown Hotties, an L.A.-based hoopdance team that melds hula-hooping and contemporary dance with show-stopping moves, synchronicity and high-energy sass.
Hula Hoop 101: Learn hooping basics with the Hooptown Hotties.
OM Vibes Only: Om Vibes Only creates conscious gatherings incorporating power yoga, live deep house DJ sets, and high-vibe food, mocktails and/or juices.
Rave Aerobics: FitnessPalooza brings you an explosion of energetic moves to start off your festival day with an extra pump.
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Rave Booty Boot Camp: Steph Haven's all-encompassing class will work a little "extra perk into your rave booty!" Zumba is mixed with pilates, ending with a deep stretch and meditation for festival prep and well-being.
Expression Through Sound: Music Alliance Academy and Studio DMI present an all-star panel of music industry professionals discussing their personal journeys through the music business. They will provide guidance and advice for up-and-coming artists, as well as insight on how to increase productivity in any artistic field through conscious holistic practices and care for the mind, body and soul.
Kiss Addiction Goodbye: Mary-Margaret Stratton discusses how you can support your recovery and address addictive and compulsive behaviors through holistic natural nutrition and mindful behavior modification.
Divine Goddess Celebration — Vaidehi Amair: Explore interactive partner work, as well as a fun, sexy movement practice while learning about the masculine and feminine sides within.